Shane Doan heads to free agency, as Phoenix Coyotes ‘run the risk’ of losing captain

Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has said all summer that the uncertain future of his unrestricted free-agent captain Shane Doan is tied to that of Greg Jamison's bid to become the next owner of the franchise.

"I don't blame him. We're all optimistic. If you're Shane Doan, would you sign?" said Maloney at last weekend's NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.

Seeing as how that ownership situation won't be settled by July 1, it should come as no surprise that Doan will become a UFA this summer. As Maloney told NHL Live on Tuesday, he expects the veteran forward will field some offers from the competition:

"We feel confident we can re-sign him. It's just a matter of getting a little more clarity, hopefully when Greg Jamison's group may be able to take over the team.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll happen by July 1, so now you run the risk of going to July 1 and some of my good friends in the general managers seats saying 'Let me just see if I can make it more expensive for the Coyotes' or make a legitimate offer."

Does this mean Doan's gone? No, and Maloney believes "he wants to be back in Phoenix." But the ownership situation remains unsettled, and a recent court ruling could extend that uncertainty all the way to a public referendum on the team's arena lease deal.

Plus, the 16-year NHL veteran — who started with the Winnipeg Jets in 1995, before moving to Phoenix the following season — is an elite power forward. He's a leader, a playoff warrior and a player that's good for 60-70 points and quality two-way hockey. He made $4.55 million against the cap last season. He would be coveted … if he decides to move on from Phoenix.